Private Project

Gemstone Baby

Lost within the reveries of her former partner, Jewels is awoken to the realities of grief, which she suppresses with the use of Ketamine wherein she can exist in a trance like state of numbness.

When Jewels’ younger sister Kate arrives to discover her on the floor of her kitchen, catatonic and nauseous, we see their complex relationship unfold. The film’s title is derived from Kate’s book, a fictionalised account of her older sister’s personal grief and, unbeknownst to Jewels, an ode to love now lost.

  • Matt Bird
    God of Sleep
  • Matt Bird
    God of Sleep
  • Connor Parker
  • Hannah Sims
    Key Cast
  • Georgie Jennings
    Key Cast
  • Tiama Martina
    Key Cast
  • Prince K. Nediyedath
    Director of Photography
  • Molly Barron
    Production Designer
  • Matt Bird
    God of Sleep
  • Abe Wynen
  • Matt Bird
    Sound Designer
    God of Sleep
  • Molly Barron
    Sound Designer
  • Tom Day
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Gay, Romance, Drug Abuse
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 11, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Super 35mm, Super 16mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Matt Bird

Matt is a recent Film and Television Honours graduate student, specialising as a Thai-Australian writer/director and Editor.

His most recent short film Gemstone Baby follows two sisters in a story of love and grief, working with his usual selection of talented crew, it is currently in its final stages of refinement before entering the festival circuit. Matt’s prior filmic achievements include short horror-drama film God of Sleep (2018), produced during his enrolment in the advanced diploma of screen production. Achieving accolades such as best original screenplay in Top Shorts, official selection Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Official Selection Elephant Film Festival (Rome), semi-finalist in Festigous Film Festival (L.A) Matt’s close friend and regular cinematographer Prince Kanishk Nediyedath was also nominated and successful in winning the Bronze award from the Australian Cinematographer’s Society (VIC & TAS) for student cinematography. With Gemstone Baby in its final stages of production Matt is excited for the film’s next steps in addition to commencing preproduction for his next project in 2020.

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Director Statement

An exploration of grief, loss and substance abuse through the guise of Jewels, this film is a study of a woman’s resilience and her spiritual journey toward amelioration. The past permeates the present like an undercurrent that is often too painful to revisit. But in Jewels’ allowing herself to grieve the person and time now lost to her, she may find peace.

The sights and sounds represented in this film could only exist through what I experienced growing up in the kinetic landscape of rural Australia. These characters are an amalgamation of people I have known, admired and drifted from in time.

The power of montage, a device that is crucial to the story structure of our film I believe comes from its correlation with dream and memory.

How we dream and remember is often fragmented, displaced and sporadic; a concept which has always fascinated me as a filmmaker. The use of multiple formats (16mm and 35mm) were implemented to evoke this sense of repression within Jewels’ psyche as well as her hyper realistic daydreams.

It is through the juxtaposition of these formats we see Jewels’ internalized struggles: the art she cannot realize, the addiction she grapples with and the memories of her partner that she cannot let go.